Riedl takes over as Maine West downs Maine East
It was a stark contrast in styles Friday night when the Maine West girls basketball team traveled to Park Ridge to face Maine East.
The Warriors were consistently launching the 3-ball, while the Blue Demons' offense went through 6-foot-1 senior center Emina Hanic.
Hanic had a great game, and the modus operandi of each team held the other at bay through three quarters in the defensive-minded contest.
Maine West, though, had 6-foot junior Jaclyn Riedl, and that was more than enough.
Riedl was outstanding in the first three periods, but in the final stanza, she was simply spectacular.
The Warriors trailed by 1 entering the fourth, but Riedl scored 11 of her 15 points in the last 8 minutes as West rallied to win 39-31 in the Central Suburban North.
Riedl pitched in with 10 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocked shots as well in the victory, and West finished 6-of-27 from the 3-point line.
"Jaclyn is just a great player," said West coach Deanna Kuzmanic. "She's been on varsity since she was a freshman, and she's the type of player who will do whatever she can to help the team win.
"We put ourselves in a tough position tonight, but I am just really proud of our girls, for finding a way to get it done and increasing the energy in the fourth."
Veronica Salcedo had the only 3-pointer of the game for Maine East late in the second period, and it helped the Blue Demons forge a 14-14 halftime tie.
Then Hanic took over in the third quarter, scoring 8 of her 13 points as East opened up a 5-point lead.
At that point, said Riedl, the Warriors mindset was focused on defense.
"We needed to get this win," said Riedl, "so we had to pull together on defense - get some stops - get some good looks on offense, and convert."
Maine West (8-10, 4-3) still trailed by 1 midway through the final quarter when Riedl, teammate Julia Wolke, then Riedl again hit 3-pointers to give the Warriors the lead.
East closed the gap to 33-31 late, but a 3-point play from Riedl, then a steal and her 2 free throws helped put the game away.
Junior Abby Sutton had 3 3s and 11 points for West, while junior Bella Cabrales scored 8 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for East.
Hanic had 9 boards and 4 blocks to go along with her game-high point total for the Blue Demons (15-9, 4-4).
"I was proud of how our girls played tonight," said Maine East coach Nicole Rinaldi. "We were down a couple of players due to injury, and our point guard is out of the country, so we had a lot of players step up.
"Even though, unfortunately, it was a loss the girls gave it their best. There was not one time in the game when I thought they weren't giving it their all. They busted it and did everything they could possibly do."